The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is in the final stages of accepting proposals under a recompetition of funding for the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS).
CEIRS is an integrated network of centers designed to bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers that perform surveillance related research integrated with research on host immune response, viral pathogenesis, and the factors that control the emergence and transmission of influenza viruses. The overall goal of the CEIRS network is to provide the information and public health tools needed to control the impact of epidemic influenza and the threat of pandemic influenza.
The existing network was established in 2007 under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) NIH-NIAID-DMID-07-20. Five separate contracts are currently supported under this effort with: University of Minnesota, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Emory University, University of Rochester, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
CEIRS has made significant contributions to influenza research; served to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies for controlling the spread of animal influenza viruses; provided improvement of sample collection and detection of influenza viruses in primary clinical specimens; and provided a better understanding of the antigenic diversity of influenza viruses and how influenza viruses emerge.
Significant progress has also been made in the research areas of influenza pathogenesis and host response. CEIRS investigators have advanced understanding of the molecular, ecological, and environmental factors that influence pathogenesis, transmission, and evolution of influenza viruses. In addition, a significant amount of research has been conducted to characterize the protective immune response. These projects have provided information regarding correlates of immunity, as well as cross protection among different influenza virus subtypes.
In 2011, NIAID convened an expert panel to evaluate the scope, objectives, structure and progress of the current CEIRS program, and to provide guidance on the future of the program. The current recompetition incorporates these recommendations.
Required Research Components include:
- • Animal and/or Human Influenza Surveillance Related Research
- • Pathogenesis and Host Response Research
- • Training and Research Capacity Building Program
- • Pilot Research Program
- • Pandemic Public Health Research Response Plan and Risk Assessment
Elective Components offerors may respond to include:
- • Cross Network Projects
- • Reagent Core
- • Laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control
- • Human/Animal Interface Serosurveillance Testing Core
NIAID intends to support a separate solicitation for the Data Processing Center for CEIRS (DPCC) which will collect and process the diverse influenza data sets generated by NIAID’s CEIRS to facilitate the management and transfer to other appropriate public databases. This dedicated data processing component will enhance efforts to manage the large amount of data being generated through these research activities, and ultimately improve retrieval and data utilization capabilities for the research community.
Further details are available under Solicitation Number: BAA-NIAID-DMID-NIHAI2012154. The current response deadline is February 22, 2013.